New York Joins Others In Lawsuit Against Trump Administration

New York state has joined sixteen other states who have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration. The lawsuit raises concerns about the legality of a question that is slated to appear on the 2020 United States Census. The controversial question that seems to be causing all the stir is a simple yet powerful one, are you a citizen of the United States?

The United States Census began in 1790 and has occurred every ten years since then. As outlined in the United States Constitution, the taxes shall be divided among the states in amounts that are respective to the population. In layman’s terms, this means the government needs to know how many people reside in each state in order for them to properly divide up the resources such as funding. Population also affects the amount of electoral votes each state receives in a presidential election as well as the number of representatives states, meaning these numbers could have a widespread political effect as well.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneierman (D) joined with sixteen other states as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the District of Columbia and six separate cities to file a federal lawsuit that is intended to stop the 2020 census from including a question that requests a persons citizenship in the United States. The group filing the federal lawsuit believes that this question violates the very laws of the census, which, when outlined in the Constitution, state that the purpose of the census is to simply count the population, not determine citizenship status. This group feels that many people who are not legal citizens of the country will refuse to answer the questions which would therefore make the numbers inaccurate when it comes to the needs of the state. This group also feels as though this is a personal attack on states that have high immigrant populations that are aimed to cut the congressional representation of these states.

It is, in fact, highly likely that those that are in the country without documentation would avoid answering this type of question. The Trump administration has made it quite clear that they have every intention of removing those who do not have proper documentation and new stories arise on a regular basis of deportations happening around the United States. The Department of Justice defended the decision to include the question, which has not been on the census since 1950, stating that they require better information in order for them to properly enforce the Voting Rights Act, a law that was created in order to help secure voting rights to minorities in the country. Section 2, which the DOJ specifically noted, refers to prohibiting any voting practices that are deemed discriminatory. Schneiderman was quick to note that the DOJ has yet to bring a single case under Section 2 of the act under the Trump administration, leading everyone to believe he thinks this is a smokescreen for the real motive.

These types of cases are often slow to play out, and with nearly two years before the census even happens it might be awhile before we have answers and a long fight could take place. It is clear that the Trump administration intends to push this topic heavily and will continue to meet adversaries at every turn. For more information on this topic, click here.

New York Chefs Are Using Caramelle More, And It Looks Delicious

There is a type of pasta that is making a semi comeback in some New York restaurants. I say semi comeback because this is not a well know type of pasta to begin with. Caramelle is a variety of pasta the looks just like it’s candyish namesake. Caramelle is pinched on both ends about an inch before the pasta ends. The middle of the pasta is rounded and, of course is stuffed with whatever your heart would desire. Just like a Ravioli pillow with ties on the end. Pasta candy!

Several New York City chefs have been using this little known pasta shape in unique ways, making the pasta pertly striped or brightly colored such as the pink offering from Barano that is made from the juices of beets. The restaurants brave enough to use this quirky pasta shape (Don Angie, Faro, Legacy Records, and Osteria Morini to name a few) have been well received. New York has always been a literal melting pot for different cuisine, but Caramelle has made the rounds of several New York restaurants in the 1990’s. It is believed that this type of pasta was originally used in Northern Italian homes as a “holiday pasta” and is not even included in “Encyclopedia Of Pasta” English or Italian version.

Wherever this pasta came from, Caramelle sounds fun to make and eat. Almost like adults are allowed to play with their food. In a world where pratically everyone takes photos of their perfect plate of food before eating, these pasta would steal the show. I would love to find a recipe for this type of nooodle and give it a try myself. I could hide all sorts of small chopped vegatables in those candy shaped pillows, tricking my kids with a fun shape and great taste. If you happen to be in New York or visiting soon, here is a link to the original article with a restaurant listing, complete with colorful photos of this fun pasta shape. Happy eating!

Non-Profit Organization Seeks To Provide East Harlem Groups With More Access To Neighborhood Recreational Spaces

East Harlem is home to more space for recreation than most neighborhoods in the borough of Manhattan. The problem as some sees it is that most of the permits to use these rec spaces have not been given to local athletic groups. Information regarding the situation is available in a recently published report that studied how the city can even the playing field for young athletes in the area.

It was revealed that approximately 44% of the land area in East Harlem is recreational space or public parks in a 44-page report on the matter that was prepared by the Aspen Institute. The institute is a non-profit organization working in conjunction with Mount Sinai Health Systems as well as other charitable organizations in the area in hopes of expanding youth sports options.

The report that 80% of the available athletic spaces in East Harlem were used by athletic groups based in other neighborhoods for the 2017-2018 winter season.

The report further detailed the situation at Thomas Jefferson Park, which contains a large area used for recreation. It was observed by the Aspen Institute that 57% of the track and field reservations for the park in November went to leagues that are not based in East Harlem.

The Department of Parks and Recreation for New York City did not provide a careful review of the report but countered the findings by saying that a full-year review of reservations at Thomas Jefferson Park would show more usage by local leagues. The reinforce their point, the department explained that the East Harlem Little League is the entity that uses the field more than any other.

Sam Biederman, a spokesman for the Parks Department said that the ballfields are available to any group in the city and that all have equal access to them.

Ranya Bautista, working with the Aspen Institute, explains that sports groups in East Harlem find it more difficult to manage the issues with bureaucracy that is necessary to reserve the athletic spaces.

The institute suggested that to remedy the problem the city could give priority to athletic groups from East Harlem when issuing permits for usage of the neighborhood recreational spaces.

The city has not yet provided a response to the suggestions made by the Aspen Institute.

Democrats Are Taking Back New York

For many it may be surprising to learn that a left leaning state like New York had any sort of Republican control, but until recently, they did. For many years there was a small breakaway group of Democrats known as Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) who helped Republicans control the Senate in New York.

Many people, especially in the state of New York, were unaware of a secret deal between the IDC and Felder’s coalition with the Republicans that dated all the way back to 2012. There are eight members of the IDC who have a power sharing agreement with the Republicans in the Senate. This power sharing deal allows them to hold leadership posts in committees as well as have financial stipends. Even though Democrats held a one-seat numerical majority in the state Senate, with this agreement Republicans were able to control the chamber.

Following the 2016 election, the people of New York were angered over the election of President Donald Trump and this anger spurred a new enthusiasm in the New York Democrats that has placed high scrutiny on the IDC. The members of IDC were quick to blame Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder, who they stated had created the arrangement. Progressive party members have placed the blame on the GOP controlled Senate for the prevention of single-payer health care bills and other progressive action that passed the state Assembly but never came up to vote. Critics have also point out that due to the current system, budget negotiations are done between four men, Gov. Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and IDC Leader Klien. This prevents the current Democratic Senate leader fro playing a proper role in these negotiations.

2018 is shaping up to be a much different year as the IDC is facing stiff competition in the primary where Biaggi is one of seven different Democrats who is challenging IDC members. Gov. Cuomo faces his own competition in Cynthia Nixon, a progressive education activist, and she stands a good chance as Cuomo has been accused in being complacent by not leveraging his power against the IDC and Felder. A recent meeting at a steakhouse between Cuomo, the Democratic Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins and IDC leader Klein might alter the course of events. Cuomo played peacemaker and requested Klein come back into the Democratic fold. The request was tentatively accepted with a handshake and the Democrats seem to be welcoming.

Weather the challengers or the sitting members hold their seats is yet to be known, but it looks like no matter what the future holds, Democrats are back in full control of New York. For more information on this, click here.

How Ride Sharing Apps Are Changing The NYC Real Estate Market

Real estate professionals in the New York City area know how there has been a sudden change in the market in that area and it is largely because of the rise of ride sharing app popularity. There are a number of companies such as Lyft and Uber that help transport people from point A to point B in a very affordable manner. Previously, people would choose their residential location in New York based off of the subway system or the public bus system. There were building development companies that would purchase properties and develop buildings based off these prime locations as well. Now, the real estate market is more vast thanks to better transportation that is easier as well.

The Need For Transportation
People who choose to live in the big city often leave behind the option for a vehicle because it just isn’t practical in this type of location. You have to pay for parking, you have to pay for gas, routine maintenance is ongoing and that doesn’t even address the issue of traffic. It is preferred when walking to a certain destination is an option but if not, the subway has always been to common way of getting around. Ride sharing ( is more popular these days because not only does it eliminate needing a vehicle but you can also share the cost of the trip with other people who are headed in the same direction as you. These ride sharing companies know this is a fact and they have begun to advertise to certain areas outside of the public transportation system to let people know they are around.

What it comes down to is that allocating a budget for something like Uber can still be a lot more affordable than investing a car, maintaining that vehicle, buying gas, insurance and much more. People can also save money by moving outside of the main areas of NYC ( enjoy more land, less traffic and better views. As real estate booms in the city, more and more developments will occur from companies that are looking to expand but feel more comfortable doing so outside of the paths of the G train or the subway system.

Zombies Take Over New York City!

Before you grab your nearest crossbow and prepare to Daryl it across the country, there were not any actual zombies in New York City. Dish Network recently decided to drop AMC from its list of available channels. In protest, AMC unleashed a few zombies into the civilian world of New York City to make a statement. People were dressed up like firefighters, food vendors, construction workers, mailmen, essentially everyday people found in the famous city. Except they were zombified and played their part quite well.

People were either terrified, curious, or excited about the staged act. The entire performance was filmed and the message at the end entails a zombie dragging a Dish satellite, with words proclaiming that zombies only belonged on television and not in real life. AMC had some problems with Dish when they began to ask for those who wished to watch the channel online pay extra fees. Officials from AMC thought it was questionable that viewers should have to pay more when they already had access to the channel on their TV.

The website currently being used to protest the drop of AMC from Dish’s lineup is called PutZombiesBack, and it believes that the reason AMC is being dropped doesn’t have to do with the channel itself at all, and instead is about an older business issue. One that never even involved AMC or anything related to it. PutZombiesBack is pushing those who interested in the dispute to find a new provider since they believe that the regular viewer is just being used as a pawn in a business game. That they are being charged unreasonably for a service that others can provide for them as a cheap and normal part of their viewing list.

While it is yet unknown what Dish will plan to do next, whether it will return AMC to its viewing list, or if viewers will simply decide to ditch Dish and find a different provider, there’s no doubt the impact the zombies had on those during the protest. Signs of the apocalypse are certainly a guaranteed method to attract attention to your cause. For fans of the Walking Dead and other AMC shows, let’s hope the stunt does more than just scare a few innocent passersby.

MTA Worker Loses Life In Tragic Fall

A 23-year-old MTA worker lost his life while working on Tuesday morning as a result of a fall while picking up debris. The man was working a the 125th and Lexington subway station in East Harlem.

The president for the Transit Authority, Andy Byford, identified the deceased worker as St. Clair Zaire Richards-Stephens and said that Richards-Stephens had been an employee of MTA for six months.

Byford explained that emergency workers worked diligently to save Richards-Stephens but despite their efforts, the man succumbed to his injuries about an hour after the fall. Byford went on to say that his and MTA’s first thoughts were of Richards-Stephens and his family.

President Tony Utano, of TWU local 100, says that incidents such as this perfectly demonstrates the dedication that is demonstrated by employees of MTA. Utano expressed his condolences for the loss of life and the grieving family and said the tragedy is one felt by the “entire city.”

Utano paints the picture of Richards-Stephens’ last moments by pointing out that while most in the city were asleep, that a young man was performing his job duties in a tunnel beneath the borough of Manhattan so that other citizens of the city can travel to school and work. Utano said that an investigation will soon be underway and that the intent of TWU local 100 is to determine the exact cause of the tragedy and give the family the closure it needs.

The tragedy caused massive delays during the most inopportune time of the day. Commuters were told to expect serious delays on a number of lines early Tuesday morning. The Metro Transit Authority put 50 additional buses in service on Tuesday to help alleviate the resulting commuter congestion.

MTA said that it would not speak on the cause of the deadly accident until an investigation is completed and the full results of that investigation are revealed.

The details as Byford understands them to be at this time is that Richards-Stephens was working on a part of the track that had an upper and lower level. Co-workers of Richards-Stephens heard a scream moments before discovering the young man to be lying face down on the lower level of the tracks.

Pay Cuts for Delivery Drives Leads to Shortage of Frito Lay Products in New York City

Sometimes major companies make huge operational mistakes, and Frito Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, has done just that. The company recently made major cuts to their delivery driver’s wages by around 33% (almost $30,000 for some drivers) and many drivers opted to quit. Before the wage cut, drivers worked on salary as well as a commission system. The company chose to do away with the commission system, opting for a “bonus” system instead. Many drivers relied on the commission system to increase their salaries. The wage cut was a nationwide move for the company, but it has backfired in New York City. Out of 245 drivers for the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Bronx boroughs, 47 of them quit. That is roughly 20% of Frito Lays delivery drivers. The company has made attempts to spread out their remaining delivery drivers and have even had managers step in to deliver goods, but the attempts are failing drastically.

Many bodega owners are being forced to go without Frito Lay’s products, with some store owners reporting that they haven’t had a delivery in months. This is a major set back for many stores because Frito Lay makes a lot of products (30 different brands) that are found in bodegas. Some of these brands include Doritos, Lays, Grandma’s cookies, Funyuns, Rold’s Gold pretzels, Matador meat snacks, and more. The shortage has become so prominent that bodega owners are getting desperate. They have been searching out delivery drivers on other routes and trying to bargain with the drivers to deliver at their stores.

Back in 2016 when PepsiCo’s chief executive Indra Nooyi first announced the pay cut plan, the news was not well received. Drivers threatened to go on strike if the company continued with the pay cut, but the company responded by saying they would simply hire replacement drivers. On Frito Lay’s website in big bold letters, they state that their mission is to “delight their consumers”. It’s safe to say that this mission is not being accomplished in New York City.

Fourth Nor’easter In A Month Hits New York City

In the northeastern part of the country, snowstorms are not an uncommon weather event during the winter months. But by mid-March, things tend to slow down quite a bit. But this has been a snowier season of snowfall this year for the east coast. On Wednesday, an unusual spring snowstorm all but shut down the Big Apple Wednesday as the fourth Nor’easter in less than a month hit the northeastern east coast. Governor Cuomo ordered a State of Emergency for the city and parts of the state. He appeared in a photo on twitter of a major tractor trailer accident and urged people to stay off the roadways. The metro area and Long Island could see upwards of over a foot of snow in this late season record breaking storm.

Thousands of flights out of JFK, LaGuardia, Newark were cancelled because of the storm. By the early evening Brooklyn and Queens had over 8.5 inches of fresh snow which is unusual for this time of year. In Central Park, 6.7 inches of new snow had already covered the region with more on the way into the evening hours and early morning hours on Thursday.

The storm has been dubbed “Four’easter” because it’s notoriety as the fourth Nor’easter in less than a month. In New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania there has been icing on the powerlines and the storm is expected to last throughout the night.

While most people in and around the city and Long island were waiting out the storm there were a few people out in the storm trying to enjoy the conditions. At Rockaway beach in Long Island, high waves caused by the Nor’easters winds were bringing out surfers even in the frigid temperatures. But it has also been a deadly storm as there have been several road fatalities from this most recent snowmaker in the New York City area.

The storm has already become a record breaker for New York City snowfall. Because of the fresh batch of snow, it is the first time in the city’s recent history it has experienced a five year stretch of consecutive winters where there has been over 30 inches of snow in a winter season. The last time this occurred was when Chester A. Arthur was president in the 1880’s.

Finding Out if You Can Afford New York is Easier Than You Think

Living in New York is expensive. This is not a myth. It is reality. This is why many people do not move to New York City. The is reality is that this is something that you can manage if you actually know how much you need to
live in New York City. It is just a matter of knowing the city, deciding where you want to live and mapping out a plan to do it.

Anyone that checks a blog about living in New York will find out one thing that is true quite early: Manhattan is one of the most expensive places to live. People that are trying to make every dollar count are not going to be able to do it here. In Manhattan the apartments are not the only things that are expensive. The restaurants, if you care to dine in these areas are just as expensive as you would assume for a wealthy neighborhood.

The key to living in New York City is finding that happy medium. If you are looking for a nice place to live you may benefit from using websites like StreetEasy to calculate rent in New York City neighborhoods. You can also use the website to give you a better idea of the money you would actually need to make to afford to live there. There have also been studies that have been conducted about what a typical week of eating out and commuting would be like in NYC. This is helpful because it give you an ideal of the things that you would never think about.

The average person that makes plans to move to New York may think about rent and a general cost of living. They may never factor in the cost of parking or general things like the cost of riding the train. An outing for the evening could easily turn into a $200 or $300 night. This is something that people do not always think about. That makes it harder to really see how much you would spend without moving their first. Thankfully, people that move their and blog about it can give you some great ideas. You have a much better feel for what life is like through these ambitious bloggers.